Meals on Wheels, a Charlottesville non-profit organization that delivers meals to senior citizens in need, is kicking off its month-long March for Meals Campaign. Each March, representatives from the local community join volunteers to help pack and deliver meals. This year, members of city council, local news anchors, and representatives of the chamber of commerce participated.
Meals on Wheels was founded in 1977 by Church Women United with the simple goal of delivering hot, nutritious meals to the ill, aging, and convalescing residents of the Albemarle County area. Meals are delivered during lunchtime Monday through Friday, and the organization usually delivers to 275 clients a week. The participating community representatives joined their central volunteer force of 250.
“They love their regular volunteers,” said executive director of the Charlottesville branch, Leigh Trippe. “But the fact that somebody made a special trip, and it’s somebody that they feel is a celebrity, somebody they’ve seen on television is making the extra effort to come out and see them and see how they’re doing really means a lot to them.”
This March marks the 14th annual nationwide March for Meals campaign, and the third year that the Charlottesville branch has participated. The organization receives no federal or state funding, instead relying on contributions. Meals on Wheels emphasizes benefits including social support, early hospital releases, the option for seniors to live in their homes longer, and someone watching out for them.
Other local events supported by Meals on Wheels include Taste This!, a food and beverage tasting event in Charlottesville, and Day of Caring, and annual event through the Thomas Jefferson Area United Way that promotes the spirit of volunteerism.